I  hope this gives you some idea about what withdrawl really feels like and why it seems to hurt so much.

I am no medical expert or indeed psychologist

Possibly this is no bad thing because I cannot couch my experience in those terms.

The experience of withdrawl is thoroughly unpleasant : you feel that without your drug, life can never have any fun in it again. Even when the physical illness has died down your life is still empty, colourless, meaningless. This is totally true : I have experienced this several times.

You ask yourself " How the f**k does anyone, anyone at all, get through this ?" and then thought, perhaps, " Why should I, of all people, go through with this ?" That's how I thought, anyway. I was living in Istanbul at the time and had no access to any meds whatsoever. Sure has changed. Anyway I came back to the UK and got a 'script.

I still wanted that happy, dislocated, unattached, safe and satisfied feeling that opiates gave me - who wouldn't ? Right ?

I tend to think that with opiates that the monkey on your shoulder tells you to stop rather than use. That's what makes opiates the best there ever was, gloriously so.

Maybe. Who gives a sh*t what I think - You want to stop hurting, right ?

When I quit in Istanbul I jumped off at around 6-8mg. That was about as much self control that I had to bring me down from about 24mg. I've taken more but nothing much happens after 32mg. I can say that I pretty much clucked from january to june when I came home.

 You don't want to hear that. It's not the full story.

I am now 53 years old, it's taken that long: last 10 years on opiates and more than 20 on booze. Been to rehab in the UK, USA and South Africa. About 8 times. Do not do this, especially if you are paying.

 No one is going to cure you except you. Bad news ? Not fair ?

 Sure. That's me. I want the easy way out : I wanna be an addict in recovery but still an addict and that makes me righteous !.....In your dreams, Junkie.

 Trying to be righteous is unhelpful. So give in, you are a junkie, accept it. Use your gear and be happy. This will not happen - you will not be happy - because you know that being an addict isn't good. Trust the monkey. I think this is called surrender.

AA,NA,CA,SA,CODA - these are the Twelve Step Fellowships. These can show you the process that leads to freedom. Sadly they are not the force that they could be they, have forgotten their roots. You might find something there though ; they added to my recovery.

 I don't know what your route to non-addicted living is going to be.

 I don't even know how you'll get through the withdrawl.

But I know how I am doing it : two years ago I became aware that when I am totally aware of all that surrounds me I have no space left (ie, for addiction) for pain. Then I finally I became aware that nothing exsists outside of this present moment. Nothing at all. As an addict I was eternally concerned with what came next or regretting some aspect of my past.

This will sound unbelieveably simplistic to the point of meaninglessness. Dwell on it.

It is true.

How do I know ?

My quit date (for subutex) was 4 days ago. I have a slight cold. I am really happy.